An Alberta Gas Station is Selling Fuel for 59.9 cents a litre
Fuel prices fall to their lowest in years.
The term ‘unprecedented times’ get thrown around a lot in media but, right now, it applies more than ever. Amongst the din, a storm of world events have combined to drive fuel prices to their lowest in recent memory. Smart social distancing practices are keeping people off the roads, lowering the demand for fuel, while Saudi Arabia engages in a price war with Russia and floods the market with oil supply. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that depressed demand and excessive supply will significantly deflate prices.
Though the situation is fluid, here’s a list of notable gas prices for 87-octane fuel from select provinces around Canada, provided by GasBuddy and taken mid-afternoon on March 20th, 2020.
59.9c, Trailside Tempo, Walsh
61.9c, Esso, Redwater
64.9c, Costco, NE Edmonton
61.9c, The Trading Post, Alderville
62.9c, Roseneath Gen7 Fuel, Roseneath
64.9c, Esso, Alderville
76.9c, Crevier, Lacolle
77.7c, Petroplus, Saint-Zotique
79.5, Esso, Grenville
105.4c, Shell/Esso, Yellowknife
105.6c, Co-op, Yellowknife
79.9c, Costco, St. John’s
87.9c, regulated price, St. John’s
These prices are a far cry from what they were even just a few short weeks ago, when most provinces were regularly trading north of a dollar per litre for regular unleaded. It’s worth noting that the 59.9c/L price noted above is roughly equivalent to 33c/L thirty years ago when adjusted for inflation. When viewed through that lens, gasoline is as cheap as it’s ever been.
Either of these world events – the Coronavirus outbreak or the increase in Saudi production – would have been enough to send prices plummeting. Taken together, they are creating nothing short of a steep nosedive.
Millions of people are wisely staying home to help curb the spread of COVID-19, sharply reducing demand, while the continuing price war between giant producers Saudi Arabia and Russia is actually increasing supply at the same time. It’s to the point where some experts are beginning to question the world’s ability to store all this excess oil.
Oil prices have precipitously fallen in the past, of course, and will surely rise again at some point in the future. In the meantime, stay safe if you absolutely need to travel.